Re: Use of trademark symbol - HELP!

Subject: Re: Use of trademark symbol - HELP!
From: Peter Brown <pbrown -at- MKS -dot- COM>
Date: Mon, 25 Aug 1997 16:30:21 -0400

Jim VanWinkle wrote:
> I need some ammunition.
> At the request of my client's corporate lawyers, they have asked me to
> add
> the text "TM, Company Name, City, State" after EVERY occurence of the
> name of
> the software product I'm documenting. That can be as much as five
> times per
> page!
> "ProductNameTM Company, Inc., Hoosville, MD, will display the Edit
> Layers
> dialog box, shown here."
> Ugh.
> I have explained that it is customary to use the trademark symbol at
> the
> first visible occurence of the product name and then list the
> trademark
> holder info along with the copyright statement on the back of the
> title page.
> My contact agrees with me, but says it will be a hard sell to the
> attorneys
> of this $80 billion company.
> So...
> Can anyone provide an argument besides "This is the way it's normally
> done"
> or "Other clients have had their attorneys review this style before
> and they
> have had no problems with it?"
> TIA,
> Jim Van Winkle

But "the way it's normally done" is also known as precedent, which is a
large component of law. How about gathering some examples of how
trademarks are dealt with in other manuals or documentation, from a wide
variety of sources? And then ask them to provide counter-examples in
print, or examples of cases where companies have actually had legal
problems because they documented the trademark the way you want to (not
to mention the way everyone else does) and *not* the way the lawyers
want to.

"Opinions? I've had a few. But then again, too few to mention."
Peter Brown, Technical Writer (pbrown -at- mks -dot- com)
Mortice Kern Systems Inc. (

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